Are you of the belief that your personal brand is every bit as important as your company’s brand? If so, here is another question to answer: what steps can you take to build a strong personal brand?
There are many tactics to implement, with some generating better results than others. Here are five that can put you on the right path to success:
1) Be Yourself
Your personal brand is who you are. No matter how hard you try, your true self will always shine through in the end. And guess what? There’s nothing wrong with this.
You shouldn’t shy away from being yourself. You should embrace who you are and use this to your advantage.
2) Launch a Personal Website or Blog
This should be separate from your company’s website and blog. It should be all about you, your thoughts, the direction you are headed, and anything else of importance.
Neil Patel is a great example of this. While Neil has many businesses, all of which have been ultra-successful, he still finds time to keep his personal blog current with fresh, actionable content.
If you want to build your personal brand, you need a platform for reaching your audience. Is there any better way of doing this than a regularly updated blog?
3) Take on Speaking Engagements
Many entrepreneurs shy away from this. Some do so because they don’t like talking in front of others. And then there are those who back down because they think speaking engagements are a waste of time (unless they are getting paid, of course).
Make it a habit to take on as many speaking engagements as possible. Sometimes you will speak for free. Sometimes the audience will be small. Even so, this is a great way to share your expertise and hone your skills.
As you become more comfortable on stage, don’t be surprised if you are offered paid speaking gigs and the opportunity to reach a larger audience.
4) Be Active on Social Media
How much time do you spend on social media as yourself? While it’s safe to assume that you update your company’s social profiles on a regular basis, you may be slacking off when it comes to your personal voice.
Being active on social media gets your name and brand in front of your target audience. My three favorite platforms are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
From a personal branding perspective, LinkedIn has always treated me well. In addition to making regular connections, you have the opportunity to publish content for your audience to read.
5) Learn, Learn, and Learn Some More
No matter how much you know, no matter who you are, there is always something more to learn.
As you continue to grow your knowledge base, you’ll find it easier to stay relevant within your space. Subsequently, your personal brand will continue to grow.
Think about it this way: the SEO industry has changed quite a bit over the past five years. The experts that stayed current are the ones still achieving success today. Those who neglected to learn are long gone.
The Power of Networking
Along with the above, I am a big believer in the power of networking. This is something I discussed in a recent blog post. Here is one of my favorite excerpts from the post:
“For networking to truly be effective, you must make the investment needed in yourself. Next, be present at relevant local and national events to meet like-minded professionals. And lastly, find ways you can make a memorable impression by helping others first before seeing what they can do for you.”
In an overall sense, this is what networking is all about. When you take the right approach, your personal brand will benefit.
Things Not To Do
Now that you have several sound strategies for building your personal brand, it’s time to focus on a few things to avoid.
- Don’t be fake. This was discussed above, but it’s worth mentioning again. You don’t have to be somebody you aren’t. When it comes to personal branding, who you are is good enough.
- Don’t seek something in return. While there is no denying the benefits of building a strong personal brand, you shouldn’t look for something in return. The rewards will come soon enough, so you don’t need to seek them out.
- Don’t forget to track your results. How will you know what is and is not working if you aren’t tracking the results of your efforts? For example, track your social efforts to see which platforms are generating the best return on investment.
Questions to Answer Before Starting
Are you more excited than ever about building your personal brand? You should be! This can have a profound impact on your business.
But before you get started, there are a few questions to answer:
- Where will you focus most your time and energy?
- What personal branding strategies have you experimented with in the past?
- What strategies have generated the best results?
- What are other experts in your industry doing to grow their personal brand?
- What are your short and long term goals?
By answering these questions, you will have a better idea of where you stand, where you are headed, and what the future holds.
I am going to leave you with a few personal branding statistics that are sure to change your thoughts on your approach:
- 90% of people trust product or service recommendations from people they know, while only 33% trust messages from a brand. (Kredible)
- More than 80% of business decision makers start the buying process with a referral from a trusted source. (Sales Benchmark Index)
- Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more often when posted by an employee as opposed to the brand’s social media channels. (MSLGROUP)
It’s these types of statistics that prove the power of building a strong personal brand.
Do you have any other thoughts on this subject? Have you achieved great success building your personal brand?